Sunday, January 31, 2010

Favorite Books

Inspired by Kristin's post on your favorite books, I decided to do the same. Because it's a fun thing to talk about and I am a copycat.


MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS (in no particular order)

1. The Persian Boy - Mary Renault

This book is written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Mary Renault. You probably haven't heard of her because she wrote books about lesbians and gay men in the 60s. The fact that she isn't considered a classic is a crime against humanity, but that doesn't have much to do with this book (except that Bagoas, the main character, is a eunuch in love with Alexander the Great).

I can't really say enough about her writing. It's beautiful, lyrical, poignant, and truthful. And if she hadn't written about gay men and women, she would be required reading for every high schooler.

2. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

don't play with me, you know what the cover looks like

I think that everyone has a book that changes them. This is mine. I read it when I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and for the first time I realized that not everybody saw the world in the same way I did. Reading from unimaginative, realistic Huck's point of view, I understood how different someone like Tom (who I resembled far more) was. It was a pretty big realization for me, and stirred my interest in people (Mark Twain is to blame for my childhood habit of eavesdropping on anyone and everyone).

Those are the only two individual books that I think I have that much to say about (at this time). Mostly the books that have affected me other than these comes in the form of authors and their fabulous writing styles. Not that I don't love Mary Renault and Mark Twain as authors, because I've read pretty much everything by them.

Enid Blyton and Tamora Pierce had a huge influence on my childhood. I also love Steven Brust (fantastic author of the Taltos series), and K.A. Applegate (author of the Animorphs series which I still contend is brilliant and will someday get its own post when I'm important enough that people pay attention to me).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do You Get It?

Instead of Teaser Tuesday, I decided to ramble on a little bit about a topic that's rather near and dear to my heart: "getting" books from different eras.

Brilliant books like Robert Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy (or simply fun ones like the Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton) are falling by the wayside in favor of ones whose pop culture references and language resonate with the people of today. Now, I'm not saying this is anything new, or nothing would ever get written, but I have to say that it kills my heart a little bit when the language in something written as recently as the 70s will cause my friends to say, "No thanks."

I think that some people have the impression that just because a book was written 20 or 100 years ago, the authors lacked humor, and any book they read will be drier than a History Channel documentary on watches. Not so! A great example of this is my current read, the Sherlock Holmes novels, which have lines like: "...the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife...", scenes with Sherlock Holmes and Watson bursting into simultaneous laughter at things that would take too long to explain here (they're funny, I promise), and epic bromance lines with Sherlock telling Watson he would be lost without him.

The other cause of this is probably laziness, which annoys me infinitely more - not because I think that everyone should have to make a huge effort to read for pleasure, but because there are gorgeous, exciting stories waiting behind the hansom cabs and jolly good chaps.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

My first Teaser Tuesday! :) I've been pretty busy with getting back to school, but now that school's finally started and I'll have a routine, my updating should be much more regular.

So, without yammering on and on about it...

Jai paused as he watched the horde of his people begin the ascent to the surface. Wills warred within him; stay or go? Of course, he craved the sweet air of the surface, and the sight of moonlight glancing off the water.

But more than that, this choice, like every other in Jai’s world, could mean the difference between life or death.

No stomach for it tonight? A particularly large, nasty kelpie named Cloren hissed as he swam by.

Jai snarled at the insult and shot past Cloren in the water, mocking the larger kelpie with his speed.

I’ll see you up there… eventually, Jai called back.

Now committed to his course, Jai sped toward the surface. He avoided the large bunch of kelpies gathered around the shark’s abrasive body and cut his own path straight upward.

While the rest of the kelpies slanted toward the bottom of the boat that Jai could now see looming into the water, Jai raced upward as fast as he could. He knew it was wrong; knew that his half-fish, half-human form might be seen by true humans as he arced out of the water, but Jai couldn’t help himself.

In any case, all these humans were about to die.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Avatar: The Last of the Unobtanium

I went and saw Avatar in Imax 3D this weekend to see what the hype was about because I'm interested in fascinating special effects.

And I was not disappointed! There were many fascinating special effects (and also some petals drifted toward the screen in 3D).

So, I present: Avatar in 2D (and 5 minutes)

Jake: *wakes up* Where's my legs... Oh yeah. Bummer.

Scientists: Hello! You've been asleep for 5 years. Please do not get out of your straightjackets and mess up any of our precious equip- oh god, there's our $5 million grant down the tubes.


Troops: *YELL*

Grace: I am a scientist! Except I've been working on these Avatars, which you haven't heard of for some reason. You haven't heard of the language either, or the customs. You are going to be such a help.

Jake: My twin brother died... I am here to take his place.

Grace: Yeah, still not helpful.

Norm: Omg! Avatars! So cool! I speak the language! As long as you're not better than me at making friends with the natives, we'll be bffs for life!

Jake: Weehee! Legs!

Scientists: Get back here!

Jake: No!

Norm: Get back here!

Jake: No!

Grace: You learn quickly, young grasshopper.

Jake: No! I mean, thanks.

Grace: Let's go out on a mission and bring Jake, even though he serves no purpose that a human soldier couldn't serve.

Jake: *pokes things*


Grace, Norm, Jake: AHHHH! *runs*

Grace & Norm: Thank Eywha we made it back to the ship. Jake...?

Jake: Oh crap, wrong way.

Later that night...

Jake: Raaaa! Back, dire wolves! You are no match for my pretty fire!

Neytiri: Stupid human. You shall DIE! Crap, these fireflies seem to disagree.

Jake: Why did you save me?

Neytiri: Quiet fool, I hate you. Now go die somewhere else.

Jake: *follows*

Jake: Maybe if I keep talking, you'll change your mind. Hey, look, lots of fireflies.

Neytiri: Goddammit. Stupid tree. C'mon, let's go see the Chieftan.

At Grandmother Willow the Hometree

Mo'at: You're a warrior? Warriors are pretty rad. Neytiri, you shall teach him our ways.

Neytiri: Dun wanna!

Mo'at: Bitch, plz.

Neytiri: *raptor snarl*

The Next Three Months

Parker: My stockholders are unhappy when we don't get money. Find a way to get the savages to let us destroy their land, or they all die! Snake Eyes here will do the dirty work.

Colonel Miles: Arrr, I'll get ye yer leg back if ye do my bidding.

Jake: Weehee, legs! But these savages are actually pretty sweet. I get to have hairsex with horses and everything.

Neytiri: You are one of us.

Clan: *celebrates*

Under the Spirit Tree

Neytiri: You may now choose your woman.

Jake: I want only you!

Neytiri: I knew you were going to say that.

*sexors* (probably involving hair)

Next Morning

Backhoes: Mornin'!

Neytiri: Nooooooooooooooo!

Jake: *asleep*

Neytiri: Wake up wtf backhoes are about to run over you!

Jake: *wakes up* Oh crap! I will kill these backhoes power by smashing their camera with a rock! GO SAVAGES!

Colonel Miles: ... I knew it. *disconnects Jake from Avatar*

Jake: What the hell man?! I was totally persuading them!

Colonel Miles: *plays video of Jake saying he cannot persuade them*

Jake: ... Oh, right, that.

Parker: Whatevs, one hour and then their tree is firewood.

At the Hometree

Jake & Grace: Soooo, sorry about betraying you and all, but we've known for three months that the humans were going to saw down your big tree. Hope you don't mind being homeless for awhile, but them's the breaks for the people who don't evolve enough to make guns.


Jake: I fell in love with you!

Neytiri: *raptor snarl*

Parker: Hour's up!

Hometree: *dies*

In Prison

Jake: This sucks. When do we get fed?

Trudy: It's okay guys, I'm breaking you out! I'm a pilot for the military, but I've suddenly decided that I hate violence. I'd rather cause violence to my own people!

Grace: I got shot, but it's only a flesh wound. Or not.

Jake: I've got to do something. I know, I'll tame the convenient plot point that was mentioned a little earlier in the movie! I have a theory... that proves immediately to be completely correct. Toruk, you are mine!

Toruk: *caw*

Jake: People! Look at my badass Toruk! Now do you trust me?

Neytiri: Yes.

The People: *attempt to save Grace*

The People: *fail*

Grace: Their God is real... *dies*

Mo'at: Y'know, we could put any human soul into an Avatar. Just saying.

Jake: Another convenient plot point I must remember for later! Thank you for dying for a purpose Grace.

During the Next... Week?

Jake: If we band together, we can defeat the white man! Join me, tribes! It worked for the Iroquois Confederacy! Er... But this is a movie!

Tribes: HOO-RAH! We like killing the white man, but it is okay because we are savages! And also unobtanium is a stupid name.

The War

Jake: Thank god 2,000 tribespeople can win against 200,000 well-equipped human soldiers when Mother Pandora is on your side! Pandora, by the way, is another name for Earth. Trufax!

Neytiri: Although your human body is very sexy, it's about three feet too short. Let's put you into an avatar and tie up these ends nicely.

Jake: Weehee, legs!

Jake's Twin Brother: It's awesome how I was never mentioned again.

The End.

Hope you enjoyed!